The Most Famous

RACING DRIVERS from Switzerland

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This page contains a list of the greatest Swiss Racing Drivers. The pantheon dataset contains 888 Racing Drivers, 23 of which were born in Switzerland. This makes Switzerland the birth place of the 11th most number of Racing Drivers behind Finland and Japan.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Swiss Racing Drivers of all time. This list of famous Swiss Racing Drivers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Swiss Racing Drivers.

Photo of Clay Regazzoni

1. Clay Regazzoni (1939 - 2006)

With an HPI of 73.06, Clay Regazzoni is the most famous Swiss Racing Driver.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages on wikipedia.

Gianclaudio Giuseppe "Clay" Regazzoni (5 September 1939 – 15 December 2006) was a Swiss racing driver. He competed in Formula One races from 1970 to 1980, winning five Grands Prix. His first win was the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in his debut season, driving for Ferrari. He remained with the Italian team until 1972. After a single season with BRM, Regazzoni returned to Ferrari for a further three years, 1974 to 1976. After finally leaving Ferrari at the end of 1976, Regazzoni joined the Ensign and Shadow teams, before moving to Williams in 1979, where he took the British team's first ever Grand Prix victory, the 1979 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. He was replaced by Carlos Reutemann at Williams for 1980 and moved back to Ensign. Following an accident at the 1980 United States Grand Prix West he was left paralyzed from the waist down, ending his career in Formula One. Regazzoni did not stop racing, however; he competed in the Paris-Dakar rally and Sebring 12 hours using a hand controlled car during the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1996, Regazzoni became a commentator for Italian TV. He was known as a hard charging racer; Jody Scheckter stated that if "he'd been a cowboy he'd have been the one in the black hat." Regazzoni died in a car accident in Italy on 15 December 2006.

Photo of Jo Siffert

2. Jo Siffert (1936 - 1971)

With an HPI of 67.36, Jo Siffert is the 2nd most famous Swiss Racing Driver.  His biography has been translated into 21 different languages.

Joseph Siffert (French: [ʒo sifɛʁ]; 7 July 1936 – 24 October 1971) was a Swiss racing driver. Affectionately known as "Seppi" to his family and friends, Siffert was born in Fribourg, Switzerland, the son of a dairy owner. He initially made his name in racing on two wheels, winning the Swiss 350 cc motorcycle championship in 1959, before switching to four wheels with a Formula Junior Stanguellini. Siffert graduated to Formula One as a privateer in 1962, with a four-cylinder Lotus-Climax. He later moved to Swiss team Scuderia Filipinetti, and in 1964 joined Rob Walker's private British Rob Walker Racing Team. Early successes included victories in the non-Championship 1964 and 1965 Mediterranean Grands Prix, both times beating Jim Clark by a very narrow margin. He won two races in Formula One for the Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM. He died at the 1971 World Championship Victory Race, having his car roll over after a crash caused by a mechanical failure and being caught under the burning vehicle. Siffert was married twice and to his second wife Simone during the height of his career in the late 1960s and at the time of his death. They had two children together, Véronique and Philippe.

Photo of Luigi Taveri

3. Luigi Taveri (1929 - 2018)

With an HPI of 62.32, Luigi Taveri is the 3rd most famous Swiss Racing Driver.  His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Luigi Taveri (19 September 1929 – 1 March 2018) was a Swiss professional Grand Prix motorcycle road racer. He competed in the FIM motorcycle Grand Prix world championships from 1954 to 1966. Taveri is notable for being a three-time 125cc road racing world champion. Although he specialised in the smaller engined machines, Taveri is the only competitor to have scored points in six Grand Prix classes: 50cc, 125cc, 250cc, 350cc, 500cc and Sidecars. In 2016, he was named an FIM Legend for his motorcycling achievements.

Photo of Silvio Moser

4. Silvio Moser (1941 - 1974)

With an HPI of 62.32, Silvio Moser is the 4th most famous Swiss Racing Driver.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Silvio Moser (24 April 1941 – 26 May 1974) was a racing driver from Switzerland.

Photo of Marc Surer

5. Marc Surer (1951 - )

With an HPI of 61.57, Marc Surer is the 5th most famous Swiss Racing Driver.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Marc Surer (born 18 September 1951 in Arisdorf) is a former racing driver from Switzerland currently working as TV commentator and racing school instructor. He participated in 88 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 9 September 1979. He scored a total of 17 championship points.

Photo of Romain Grosjean

6. Romain Grosjean (1986 - )

With an HPI of 59.65, Romain Grosjean is the 6th most famous Swiss Racing Driver.  His biography has been translated into 44 different languages.

Romain Grosjean (French: [ʁɔmɛ̃ ɡʁoʒɑ̃]; born 17 April 1986) is a Swiss-born French racing driver currently competing in the 2021 IndyCar Series for Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing. Grosjean had previously spent nine seasons in Formula One for a variety of teams, picking up 10 podiums.He dominated the 2005 French Formula Renault championship at his first attempt and joined the Renault young driver programme. He was the 2007 Formula 3 Euro Series drivers' champion. In 2008 he became the inaugural GP2 Asia Series champion and came 4th in his first year in GP2. In 2009 he made his Formula One debut for Renault at the European Grand Prix and came 4th again in GP2 despite missing the final eight races. After being dropped by Renault he returned to junior formulae, winning the 2010 Auto GP championship at the first attempt and winning the 2011 GP2 Asia Series and GP2 Series becoming the first – and as of 2021, only – two-time GP2 Asia champion and the only driver to hold both the GP2 Asia series and main GP2 series titles simultaneously. Due to the Asia and Main GP2 series being discontinued, it is likely that this will remain true for the foreseeable future. In 2012, Grosjean returned to Formula One with the Lotus F1 Team, alongside Kimi Räikkönen. He took his first Formula One podium at the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix and took his first fastest lap in the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix. He became the first driver since 1994 to receive a race ban after causing a multi-car pile up, at the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix. In 2013 he remained with Lotus, taking six podiums. He drove for Lotus again alongside Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado in the 2014 and 2015 seasons before moving to Haas from 2016 to 2020. In what would be his final Formula One race, Grosjean survived a dramatic crash during the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix when his car separated in two and caught fire after penetrating a metal guardrail on the first lap. Grosjean sustained minor burns and credited the halo with saving his life.In 2021, Grosjean switched to the US-based IndyCar Series. He obtained his first pole position and podium in his third race, at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

Photo of Toni Branca

7. Toni Branca (1916 - 1985)

With an HPI of 58.06, Toni Branca is the 7th most famous Swiss Racing Driver.  His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Antonio Branca (15 September 1916, Sion, Switzerland – 10 May 1985, Sierre, Switzerland) was a Formula One driver from Switzerland who competed in three World Championship races. His motor racing career was allegedly financed by an admiring Belgian countess, the Vicomtesse de Walkiers. Branca mainly competed in privately owned Maserati 4CLT, in Formula One and Two races. Branca made his Formula One debut at the 1950 Swiss Grand Prix, finishing 11th, and briefly led the non-championship Formula One race in Circuit des Nations at Geneva in a Simca-Gordini. He scored a number of top-six placings in other minor races, his best finish being fourth at a Formula Two race at the Aix les Bains Circuit du Lac, before entering the Belgian Grand Prix and finishing in 10th place. Branca continued to race in 1951, retiring from the Formula One German Grand Prix and finishing sixth in the non-championship Pescara Grand Prix, but finished competing in Grand Prix racing at the end of the year.Branca competed at a lower level until the mid-1950s, racing in hillclimbs and participated twice in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Racing with a Moretti 750cc, in 1955 the car was not ready and could not be brought to the starting line at the time of the start, and in 1956 the car broke down before his turn behind the steering wheel.

Photo of Heini Walter

8. Heini Walter (1927 - 2009)

With an HPI of 57.76, Heini Walter is the 8th most famous Swiss Racing Driver.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Henrich "Heini" Walter (28 July 1927 – 12 May 2009) was a Swiss racing driver. He participated in one Formula One World Championship Grand Prix, on 5 August 1962. He finished 14th, scoring no World Championship points. He also participated in non-Championship Formula One races.

Photo of Heinz Schiller

9. Heinz Schiller (1930 - 2007)

With an HPI of 57.60, Heinz Schiller is the 9th most famous Swiss Racing Driver.  His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Heinz Schiller (Frauenfeld, Switzeland, January 25, 1930 – Montana, Switzeland, March 26, 2007), was a racing driver from Switzerland. He participated in one Formula One World Championship Grand Prix, on August 5, 1962. He retired from the race, scoring no championship points. Schiller was a speedboat champion in his native Switzerland before turning to sports car racing, finding success during the mid-1950s. He then switched to single seater cars, starting in hillclimbing before moving up to circuit racing. He first appeared in Formula One at the beginning of 1962 with Ecurie Nationale Suisse, driving their three-year-old Porsche in the Brussels Grand Prix, where he finished 8th on aggregate after the three heats. He subsequently drove the same car at the 1962 Pau Grand Prix, coming home 9th. Under the Ecurie Filipinetti banner but still driving the same Porsche, Schiller failed to qualify at the Naples Grand Prix, largely because only 10 cars were permitted to take the start. He was entered by Ecurie Maarsbergen for the 1962 Belgian Grand Prix but was withdrawn, before finishing 7th in the Grosser Preis der Solitude for Ecurie Filipinetti. He then switched to a Lotus 24 for his single World Championship event, the 1962 German Grand Prix which ended with oil pressure problems, as did his attempt at the Mediterranean Grand Prix, now back in the Porsche. Schiller made one appearance in Formula One in 1963, finishing 3rd at Pau but five laps down, again in the old Porsche, before returning to sports cars. He finished 10th at the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans with Gerhard Koch.

Photo of Loris Kessel

10. Loris Kessel (1950 - 2010)

With an HPI of 57.13, Loris Kessel is the 10th most famous Swiss Racing Driver.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Loris Kessel (1 April 1950 – 15 May 2010) was a racing driver from Switzerland. He was born in Lugano and died in Montagnola following a long illness. He participated in six Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 2 May 1976. He scored no championship points. In 1976, he drove a Brabham for RAM, and in 1977 he drove his own Apollon-Williams, although this car was not a success. Kessel ran a series of car dealerships in Switzerland and his own racing team, competing in Ferrari Challenge series in Italy and the main European series. The team also competes in the FIA GT3 European Championship with the same car.

Pantheon has 23 people classified as racing drivers born between 1908 and 1999. Of these 23, 11 (47.83%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living racing drivers include Marc Surer, Romain Grosjean, and Sébastien Buemi. The most famous deceased racing drivers include Clay Regazzoni, Jo Siffert, and Luigi Taveri. As of October 2020, 2 new racing drivers have been added to Pantheon including Heinz Schiller and Albert Scherrer.

Living Racing Drivers

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Deceased Racing Drivers

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Newly Added Racing Drivers (2020)

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Which Racing Drivers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 12 most globally memorable Racing Drivers since 1700.